Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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LAH reports little change in enrollment, costs still high

Although measuring the precise return on investment is difficult, it’s clear that residents of Los Altos Hills contribute generously to public education – a tax-dollar total that averaged $27,529 per student last year.

According to the Los Altos Hills Education Committee’s 2012-2013 Enrollment Report, 930 students from Los Altos Hills are enrolled in K-12 public schools in the Los Altos School District, which includes elementary and junior high schools; the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA); and the Palo Alto Unified School District, which includes elementary, middle and high schools. Los Altos Hills is split geographically between the two elementary school districts.

With an overall decrease of 22 students, there was no major shift in public school enrollment from the previous year.

Because Bullis Charter School declined to provide enrollment data, Heather Rose, chairwoman of the Education Committee, reported that some statistics – including small decreases in the number of students enrolled in Los Altos schools between eighth and ninth grades – may not be as accurate as they could be.

Although the Los Altos School District enrolls 4 percent more elementary students than the Palo Alto Unified district, the reverse is true for high school enrollment – Palo Alto enrolls 12 percent more students than MVLA, with 183 attending Gunn and 145 attending high schools that include Los Altos Hills within their boundaries.

Rose attributed the reversal in enrollment figures during the transition to high school to private school students entering Gunn. During a committee report to the city council, she noted that the Palo Alto district had a higher concentration of students attending public middle schools than the Los Altos district for the 2012-2013 year. She alluded to possible concerns from residents about the stability of local elementary schools as one explanation.

In addition to highlighting the number of students that attend each public school in the districts, the report provides a breakdown of the taxpayer cost per student in each district.

Students in MVLA receive the highest total revenue at $39,495 per pupil – $36,291 from property taxes and $3,204 in bond-issue revenue for facility expenses. The Los Altos School District’s receives $30,226 per student and the Palo Alto Unified School District averages $26,866.

Property and parcel-tax contributions in 2012-2013 increased nearly 9 percent, or $3,629, per student across all school districts serving Los Altos Hills compared with 2011-2012.

For the complete Los Altos Hills Education Committee 2012-2013 Enrollment Report, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/documents/committees/education/2013-2013_enrollment_report_presentation_citycouncil.pdf.

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